Techniques Rarely
Shared or Seen

See a process few people ever do as we learn step-by-step how luxury fashion brands make fine leather belts in this valuable course.

Luxury Leather Belt Making Course - with Bennett Liberty - International Leather Club
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NYC-based leather designer, consultant to luxury brands, and professor of fine leather working with over 50 years of experience.
Bennett Liberty Master Leather Crafter
Bennett Liberty
Master Leather Craftsman

Format & Duration

Access to 20 individual online leather lessons, each with a video and text notes. Edited to over 1 hour 10 minutes (maximized for learning time), easily viewable on common digital devices.

Target Student

Crafters at all levels, given the professional insights and and rarely-shared knowledge included in the lessons in this online leathercraft course.

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Course Details

Preparing Pieces at His Desk - Bennett Liberty - Luxury Leather Belt Making - International Leather Club
This course was produced by the ILC in collaboration with Bennett's studio colleague Heaven Cluesman.

The Opportunity

Bennett comes from a background that approaches fine leather accessory design more like that of engineering than basic crafting. The tight tolerances, fit, and finish of fine leather goods require additional levels of planning, thought, technique, and execution.

Luxury brands often have master crafters design their goods, define the steps/process to make them, then hand that off to their in-house production team. Thus, master crafters like Bennett often invent/refine the unique methods of construction that are used.

While each master does it a little differently, these methods are often kept private. With shared interest of leather working knowledge and education, and so more crafters can carry and apply these skills, we bring you this online leather course. This is truly an opportunity and priviledge to see and learn from these techniques.

What You'll Gain

A working knowledge to produce a fine leather belt, with tight fit and finish, demonstrated by a master craftsman in a production-level workshop. The tools utilized include machines and some hand tools. Some of the motorized tool-based steps can be replicated manually, with more time and manual techniques.

What This Course Is

A step-by-step walkthrough of the production process of a luxury leather belt, in a professional leather studio – including material and tool recommendations and sources in a digital online leather working course format.

What This Course Is Not

It is not a deep dive into each tool. For example, a sewing machine is used – selection, maintenance, and use would be another course.

Meet Your Instructor

Working at His Studio Desk - Bennett Liberty - Luxury Leather Belt Making - International Leather Club

Bennett Liberty is a designer and master craftsman of fine leather accessories. He is based in the USA and has been creating limited edition, bench-made goods and consulting for the industry for 50 years. A quintessential leather working expert and fine craftsman, with global training and luxury leather goods produced at the highest levels, his experience is as follows:

Bennett began his career as a craftsman in the American Craft Movement of the 1960’s. In the 1970’s, he attended feintaschner (“fine-bagger”) handbag trade school in Offenbach, Germany (at the time the world’s center for luxury handbag design).

Next, he apprenticed at Karl Seeger, GMBH, the luxury accessories company located in West Germany where he worked under the tutelage of European master builders. Since the 1980’s, Bennett has been a master model maker / sample maker, pattern maker, and production skills consultant for the fashion accessories and industrial design industries, national and international.

Broadly-speaking, when a luxury brand is looking to design and launch a new leather good, Bennett would help conceptualize, design, and prototype it, and the step-by-step production process (generally, 60-300 steps for luxury leather goods). The luxury brand would then use Bennett’s patterns and process for their in-house production.

Bennett has taught as an adjunct professor at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) and as a national juror for the American Craft Council. His clients have included Coach, Carolina Herrera, Cole Haan, Herman Miller, Judith Lieber, Oscar de la Renta, and Tumi.

Course Curriculum

Lessons and Details

1. Knife Sharpening

A look into the proper angles and process used to sharpen your knife before every project.

2. Intro and Belt Overview

Intro to the project, what makes it unique, and an example of the belt and buckle.

3. Material Selection and Cutting

Review what types of leather are used, why, and the retail sources where you can get it.

4. Splitting

Discuss the proper thickness for the belt layers, and see the process of splitting through an industrial splitter.

5. Skiving

Review the needed edge thickness and see the belt pieces run through the bell skiver to achieve the proper thickness.

6. Edge Work

Guide through how to handle and tuck the edges properly to ensure a professional level of fine edge work.

7. Creasing

See how and where the creasing is added that will be used to set the stitches in.

8. Adding the Lining

Learn what lining to use, how to prepare it, glue it, secure it, and ensure it lays flat and smooth throughout the length of the belt.

9. Stitching and Flattening

Stitching with the sewing machine to secure the layers of the belt together, and how to easily flatten those stitches.

10. Burnishing

Power burnishing the sewn belt to even out the appearance and feel of the edges.

11. Buckle Overview

Learn what buckles are used, why, which buckles not to use, and making an aesthetically-appealing choice.

12. Preparing the Buckle

See how to get the buckle ready to apply the leather. Learn how to prepare the leather and what type to use.

13. Gluing Leather to the Buckle

How and where to glue the leather to the buckle, including tips on leather preparation and application.

14. Sewing the Buckle

Using the sewing machine to stitch the leather around the buckle.

15. Trimming and Finishing the Buckle

Take the sewn buckle and learn the techniques that can trim excess leather while keeping a fine fit and finish.

16. Making the Belt Keeper

See how the keeper is made, to match the look of the belt, what leather to use, and how to make it.

17. Adding the Prong Hole

Review the prong hole placement, orientation, and punching it into the belt.

18. Adding the Belt Holes

Measuring and adding the belt holes, discussin spacing and how to easily center and position them.

19. Properly Sizing the Belt

Discuss belt measurement and proper sizing adjustment to ensure it fits the waist size as intended.

20. Sewing the Keeper and Completion

The final steps, sewing the keeper in place using the sewing machine, and viewing the finished belt.

Take a peek insidE

Check out the lessons

Here are some looks into the lessons, giving a feel for the tools, techniques, angles, and topics explored in the course. We also get to explore some unique techniques Bennett has personally developed over time.

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Most frequent questions and answers

This course can be beneficial to crafters at all levels, given the rare and unique insights Bennett shares.

Newer crafters can learn best practices to strive for as they develop their skills. Intermediate and advanced crafters can learn production-level skills that help inform, guide, and improve their own practices.

Once you complete the purchase and are logged in, you will see a menu option appear for this course under “My Courses”. There, you can enter the course, view the lessons, and then progress through each one at your own pace.

As a digital item where all assets are delivered instantly, there are generally no returns. We think you’ll find a lot of value in this course and what you can learn from it.

The course is on our responsively-designed platform, so it can be easily viewed and enjoyed on most common digital devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices that have an internet connection.

You’ll have instant access to the course 24/7 for 1-year (365 days) after purchase.

For those crafters that prefer to work more manually, the production steps still apply, and can be crafted using manual methods and techniques. It will likely take a bit more time, incorporating additional skills, yet possible to produce a fine product by hand.

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